A protein shake is the ideal after-workout 'snack' or meal. Protein shakes are designed to replenish the nutrients you have lost during your workout, feed the muscles that have just worked so hard for you, and get rid of that shaky, spent feeling you have after completing a tough workout. It is important to take in some nutrition within 30 minutes after a workout, and a protein shake is an ideal way to replenish the body.
Why should I drink a protein shake?
There are number of benefits to adding more protein to your diet, especially in the form of a protein shake after a workout.
A protein shake helps rebuild muscles. Your body works hard during a workout, and it needs to refuel after a workout. If you do not give it a ready supply of protein, the body will feed off the stores of muscle you already have, and that is the opposite of what you want. You have just worked hard to develop muscle, don't lose it! A protein shake will feed the body, and give you all the needed energy to replenish your muscles.
Additionally, after a workout, often you feel spent, or even shaky, because your body is completely depleted of nutrients and minerals. That shaky feeling will be gone once you ingest your protein shake.
Which type of protein shake is right for me?
As a meal replacement, a protein shake has all vitamins and minerals you need to replenish the body. They come in a variety of flavors, too. But note that shakes work differently for different people.
A protein shake can help you add the extra five pounds you have been looking to add, lose the spare tire around your stomach or even help you get cut for a contest.
There are numerous options when shopping for protein shakes, find one that does what you need it to do.
For example, if you are also looking to lose weight while getting lean, opt for a protein shake that is lower in calories, fat and carbs. These will give you just the protein needed to achieve that lean look, without the added calories to make you gain weight.
For those who want to build muscle, protein shakes with extra protein and calories can help you build size. There are also shakes designed for different diets, like vegan, gluten-free, or vegetarian, and shakes designed specifically for women and men.
Who can tell me more about protein shakes?
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts has a shake after every workout. Ralph can point you in the right direction as to what type of protein shake would best work for you. If you are interested in getting healthy and in shape, give Ralph a call today to schedule a personal training appointment.
The New Year has come and gone, and many of us made some resolutions for the future. Most of the resolutions are of a personal nature. You may want to stop smoking or learn a new language, but the most common resolutions are to lose weight and get in shape. After a few weeks of working out, it’s easy to take a break and fail to get back in routine. However, don’t give up. A personal trainer can help you keep the momentum going so your New Year’s resolution can become a lifestyle change.
If your midnight goal was to get healthier and to lose weight, you probably joined a gym, or started a diet plan. This is a great start. Unfortunately, after a month or two, the luster to the gym and working out wears off.
It’s easy to find reasons not to work out. Maybe you want to catch a movie after work instead of heading to the gym. Or you feel you are missing out when your friends go out for dinner and drinks and you’re panting on the treadmill. You deserve that extra hour of sleep on the weekends. You can always go to the gym tomorrow.
These sporadic excuses may eventually turn into you completely giving up on your fitness goals.
How can a personal trainer help me stick to my fitness goals?
Working out is always easier when you can do it with someone else. Group training provides the support and encouragement of others trying to reach the same goal and the instruction of a professional trainer. Most gyms offer group training as part of their services nowadays.
But before you sign up for any personal training, do some research. Find a personal trainer that is not only experienced and certified but also one who matches your personality and understands your goals.
If you get along with your trainer and enjoy the training sessions you will be more likely to stick to your resolution and get in the best shape of your life.
Don’t give up
It is important to realize that getting in shape is a process. And a long one at that. Many people get discouraged when they don’t immediately see results. In the beginning, take pride in the fact that you are going to the gym regularly. This is a big step and one that many people never take.
Even the smallest change in your body is a cause for celebration. Over time little changes will result in huge differences in your life. By having a personal trainer in your corner giving you that extra motivation when you need could make all the difference.
One of the top group trainers in the Amarillo area is Ralph Roberts with the Downtown Athletic Club. He offers group training classes for all levels and most of the exercises are low impact, which is perfect for the beginner.
Ralph has made fitness is career and is passionate about helping others get healthy and stay that way. If you are looking for a personal trainer to help you keep your New Year’s resolution, contact Ralph Roberts and set up an appointment.
Cardio exercise is a great way to burn calories and get rid of fat. And if it’s done the right way it can be fun as well. No matter what gym or health club you go to, they will have a wide selection of cardio equipment for you to choose from.
What cardio equipment can I use?
Different pieces of equipment will provide a different experience and depending on your fitness level, one may be better than the other. The selection of cardio equipment at most gyms is treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and stair stepper.
Treadmill: Treadmills are great because the can get your heart rate up very quickly and are a great way to burn calories. If you are just starting out you can set the speed to a walking pace and still get the cardio benefit.
One of the most popular treadmill workouts is to mix up running and walking. You run for a few minutes and then walk for a minutes, then run for a few minutes. You repeat this cycle throughout your whole workout.
Running on a treadmill is high impact so if you have issues with your knees you may want to keep your workouts at a brisk walk.
Exercise Bike: This is a lower impact piece of cardio equipment. If you have knee problems this is a great way to get a solid cardio workout and not put too much strain on your body. Most exercise bikes offer different settings such as hills, flat road and timed sessions so you won’t get bored.
The important thing is to get your pedal settings correct. You want to have good leg extension but make sure your knees do not lock flat. This can put unneeded stress on your knee. The exercise bike is also a great recovery workout after a heavy exercise day.
Elliptical Trainer: The elliptical trainer is a mainstay piece of equipment at any gym. It is great for beginners; it is easy on the joints, it is easy to use and provides a whole body workout. If you are looking to target your glutes and quads this is the perfect exercise equipment for you.
Stair Stepper: This is a low impact that also burns lots of calories. The stair stepper will save your body from the jarring shocks your experience when you jog or take an aerobics class. It is also great for the glutes, too.
No matter what your fitness level is you should seek out a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts is one of the top certified trainers in the Amarillo area. Contact him today to set up an appointment to discuss your fitness goals.
Pushups are a great exercise for getting your body into shape. They work the core, the arms and the chest. This one move is perfect for saving time, too. Hit several muscle groups with one exercise, what could be better? However, note that doing a push-up correctly is key. Doing one push-up the right way is a lot more effective than doing even a hundred the wrong way.
How Do I Do a Push-up?
If you are new to pushups, there are three stages of the pushup, so start with the beginner version. The beginner version is a table top option. You will be on all fours, and then simple dip your front body, bending your arms and taking your chest almost to the floor.
The second, or intermediate, option, is to be on the knees. Your knees will form a slant to your shoulders, think of a 45 degree angle. From here, you will bend your elbows and take your torso close to the floor.
And finally, the advanced option is to do the pushups on your toes. You will be in a plank position, and then complete your push-up, taking your chest close to the floor. If you want a more stable base, your feet should be a little farther apart. When your feet are closer together, it makes it a bit harder, because you are also working to keep your balance.
For the advanced position, think of your body as a straight line. Keep your bottom from sticking up into the air, keep that plank position as you perform your pushup.
To keep your form correct, tighten your abs and squeeze your bottom. It will keep you in a straight plank position.
Where Should My Hands Go While Doing A Push-up?
For any of these options, hand placement is up to the individual. Your hands can be angled in any way that feels comfortable to you. If you place your hands wider, you will work your chest differently. If you bring your hands in closer, you will work your triceps more than your chest. Change it up, firing up your muscles in different ways each time.
What Does My Body Need to Do?
To perform that perfect pushup, keep your arms straight and abs braced. Lower yourself down to the ground, until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Do not let your elbows flare out too much. If your elbows do start to flare, your arms are tired, and you are done.
Personal Training in Amarillo, Texas
Interested in getting some help with your push-ups? Call me, Ralph Roberts, today. I’m a certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas and would like to help you get in shape. Contact me today to schedule a personal training session designed just for you.
Stretching is actually one of the most important components of your workout, and you need to stretch both before and after, for a variety of reasons.
The American College of Sports Medicine, or ACSM, recommends stretching each of your major muscle groups for 60 seconds. They note that regular flexibility exercises can help you maintain proper range of movement. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of pre and post-workout stretches.
Why should I stretch before a workout?
Pre-workout stretches should ideally be dynamic. This means that you will do stretches that perhaps mimic things you will do during the workout, but at a much lower intensity. For example, on a leg workout day, you might do some shallow walking lunges or leg swings, to get the lower body warmed up.
Ballistic stretches use a repetitive bouncing motion to help induce a stretch. These are sometimes also called active stretches.
Always remember, though, that you should warm up for a few minutes with some type light aerobic activity before beginning any stretches. You may want to jog in place or just march first, this helps to get the body ready. This ballistic stretching will help warm up the muscles.
If you do static stretching while the body is still cold (static stretching is any stretch that holds the muscle in place for a longer period of time) you can do damage to the body.
This will also keep you from injuring yourself during your workout. Think of the muscle as a rubber band. If you freeze a rubber band and then try to stretch it, it will pop. Stretching a cold muscle might not actually pop it, but it can injure that muscle. Make sure to warm up a bit and then begin your stretching or yoga.
Why should I stretch after a workout?
When you stretch after a workout, you will do static stretches. Your body is warm now, and you can hold your stretches longer, for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds.
After a workout, stretching the muscles will help to lengthen those that have been shortened during exercise.
You are much more flexible after you exercise because circulation to in the body has increased, and blood has been sent to your muscles.
If you neglect these stretches, your body will tighten up and you will feel a great deal of soreness the next day, and possibly even for two days after your workout.
What are the benefits of stretching?
You can stretch anytime, but remember if you have not worked out, it is important to ease into stretching gradually. Stretching your muscles actually should be part of your regular workout regimen, as flexibility is important, especially as we age.
Yoga classes are wonderful ways to stretch the body at any time.
Stretching and flexibility can actually aid in muscle building and weight loss. Flexibility helps you increase the body's ability to build muscle mass. When your muscles are more flexible, you can lift more weight. It also helps the muscles recover more quickly and helps make the muscles work much more effectively.
Muscle growth and the subsequent fat and weight loss happens only when you stretch the muscles.
Who can show me some good stretches?
For more questions, or to have personal trainer Ralph Roberts design a workout plan that is right for you, contact him today. Ralph Roberts is a certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas and has years of experience in athletics. He can design a workout routine just for your fitness level, schedule and health needs.
Trying to stay fit while living a busy life is sometimes a major challenge. You have to get up early, get the kids out the door, and make it to work on time. After work, you run home to make dinner, help with homework, get the kids to bed, and try to relax before bedtime. Fitting in a workout often does not happen.
If you are like most people, you do have a bit of time in the middle of the day. A lunch hour workout is a great way to manage your time and make fitness a priority without interfering with the rest of your life. When you are scheduling your day, block out a bit of time for yourself around lunch to stay in good health and physical shape.
What can you do with a lunch hour workout?
Just how much you can get done in a short period of time? Actually, with the right workout and a good fitness center close by, you can get your training in and still have time to freshen up before returning to work. Here are a few options:
If you are interested in doing a lunch hour workout, contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts to find the best routine for your fitness needs. A personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas, Ralph works with several clients during their lunch hours. Whether you want to come down to the DAC, set up a group session with your co-workers during lunch or have Ralph come to you, he is very flexible. Get in touch with Ralph today to discuss a good workout routine for your lunch hour.
Photo Credit: By stockimages, published on 19 June 2013
Stock Photo - image ID: 100177867
To many, yoga is a strange and mysterious activity. It conjures up visions of ancient practitioners and strange spiritual practices. In reality, yoga is a great full body workout that will not only strengthen and tone your muscles but will also improve you overall health.
Many gyms and health clubs now offer yoga classes for all levels. If you decide to take the plunge and start practicing yoga you will start on a path towards total health. There are a number of benefits that you will reap from yoga. Here are just a few.
Does Yoga Build Muscle?
Having strong, well defined muscles may make you look good but they benefit you in other ways, too. Strong muscles help prevent conditions like arthritis and back pain and many other degenerative conditions that happen as you get older. Yoga is a great way to build muscle tone.
Will Yoga Improve My Flexibility?
Having good muscle tone is one thing, but when you combine it with flexibility you are really building a strong, healthy body. When you first start practicing yoga you will most likely not be too flexible. Touching your toes may be a real challenge. But as you progress you will notice a gradual loosening of your joints. Poses that seemed impossible before will now bring a smile to your face.
What About Heart Health?
It may not seem like it, but yoga is a tough workout. You will sweat, your heart rate will increase and you will likely be sore the next day if you are just beginning. Getting your heart rate into the aerobic range can lessen your chances of a heart attack. While not all yoga classes will get your heart up into that range any yoga class will benefit your heart.
Studies have shown that yoga can lower your resting heart rate and increase your endurance. For this reason alone yoga should become part of your exercise routine.
There are also a number of studies that show how yoga can lower your blood pressure. A simple pose like Savasana (or Corpse Pose) which is nothing more than having your lie still on the floor, has been proven to lower blood pressure, according to British medical journal The Lancet.
Can Yoga Help My Joints?
During every yoga class you will be taking your joints through a full range of motion. Your joint cartilage is similar to a sponge. As you move you “squeeze” the cartilage and fluid goes out and then fresh nutrients come back in. This continual movement can help prevent degenerative diseases like arthritis.
Another great thing about yoga is that is soothes the mind and relaxes you. And we could all need a breather every now and then.
If you want to learn more about yoga or find another type of workout regimen for you, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am a certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas. Get in touch with me today to set up a personal training session.
A BOSU Ball is fitness device that looks like a stability ball cut in half. The flat side is a rigid platform. The other side is an inflated half-sphere that feels and reacts much like a ball, except for the rolling and bouncing parts. BOSU stands for "both sides up". This fitness device offers workouts using both the flat rigid platform and the unstable ball bottom.
How Does A Bosu Ball Improve Balance?
The BOSU is a great device to improve balance. The person stands on the rigid platform with the inflated portion on the ground. This forces the person's body to work to remain in balance. It engages the leg, back, and abdominal muscles as the body shifts around.
Once you have a certain stability built up, you can change things up to give yourself a challenge:
What Are Some Strength-Building Exercises for a Bosu Ball?
When you flip the BOSU over with the rigid side down and the inflated side up, you have a great platform for doing strength training on an unstable surface.
Where Can I Learn More About Bosu Ball Exercises?
If you want to learn how to use the BOSU ball and build up your strength and balance, work with a certified personal trainer, like Ralph Roberts. Contact Ralph today to schedule a personal training session where he can customize a workout just for you. Be sure to check out my instructional video below on how to use a Bosu ball!
The foam roller has made its presence known in the world of fitness the past couple of years. This form of exercise has a well-deserved reputation for gently stretching the muscles and it can ease painful muscles after an intense workout. It offers relief for those just getting into fitness and those who have already been there for a long time. Its curved, unstable shape also makes it a great tool for strength training your core.
What is a foam roller anyway?
It is a roll of firm foam that usually measures 6 inches in diameter, and comes in various lengths. Most people work with a roller that is 24 to 36 inches long. The foam can hold up even with the full weight of the user sitting on top of it.
What exercises can you do with a foam roller?
You can do a variety of stretches and exercises with the help of the foam roller. The key is to roll for a minimum of 30 seconds per exercise. Here are five exercises to get you started:
How do I use a foam roller?
A personal trainer can help you develop a full workout routine that uses the roller to its maximum, as well as other low-impact exercises. The trainer can also show you how to use it to warm up and cool down after a major workout.
If you want to learn how to use a foam roller, contact me, Ralph Roberts, personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. If you are interested in other workouts, such as using an exercise ball, resistance bands or simply weights, I can help.
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